Review: This Vicious Grace by Emily Thiede

A Kindle rests on a marble table next to a Nintento Switch with Animal Crossing, surrounded by cactus/succulent votive candles

Alexis: Are you looking to add more fantasy romance reads to your 2022 tbr?

Synopsis:

In This Vicious Grace, Alessa is the Finestra, chosen by the Gods to ward off the coming apocalypse. But she needs a magical partner, and unfortunately for everyone, she keeps accidentally killing everyone she touches. When she survives an assassination attempt, she hires a street fighter named Dante as her bodyguard, who ends up helping her in ways she never imagined. 

Review:

This was such a fun book! The banter and the chemistry between Alessa and Dante was great. Dante is your classic broody love interest. And I loved reading about Alessa figuring out how to control her powers.

I especially enjoyed Alessa’s character arc. The story focuses on Alessa growing as a person as she overcomes loneliness and self-doubt. It’s a character-driven story, which I love, but just be aware going into it that it’s not plot heavy until the end. Because of this, the main plot didn’t feel as high-stakes as it could have.

If you’re looking for a book with the vibes of Kingdom of the Wicked and From Blood and Ash, then I definitely recommend it!

VERDICT: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

PUB DAY: June 28, 2022

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press/Wednesday Books for my e-ARC!

Review: Furyborn and Kingsbane by Claire Legrand

The spines of Furyborn and Kingsbane rest on a windowsill next to a white curtain and a candle.

Alexis:

Furyborn, and the rest of The Empirium Trilogy, has been on my tbr list for a while now, and when I found Furyborn in a used bookstore, I grabbed it!

To be honest, it took me a while to get into the worldbuilding. I had to read the first half of this book carefully in order to understand the world and the characters.

Furyborn has two timelines—1000 years apart. Two queens, the Sun Queen and the Blood Queen, are prophesied to either break or save the world. Rielle can perform all seven kinds of elemental magic, and enters a series of trials to prove that she is the Sun Queen. 1000 years later, Eliana is an assassin just trying to keep her family alive in the Undying Empire when she runs into a rebel named Simon who needs her help.

Like I said, once I got to the halfway point, I loved this book. It’s both action packed yet slow paced. The first chapter/prologue offers a glimpse of what happens in the end, and I found that it upped the tension and anticipation for me while I read. 

While I wasn’t a huge fan of Rielle’s character, I found Eliana to be interesting and flawed. And Simon was by far my favorite character; I can’t wait to learn more about him in the next book.

My one main critique is that this book was originally marketed as YA and—it’s not. It’s definitely adult, with adult themes and sex scenes. I would categorize it as New Adult, which I desperately hope will eventually be a more solidified genre. 

If you’re looking to dive into a new trilogy full of action, powerful and flawed women, angels and elemental magic, and dual timelines, then you might like this.

VERDICT: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

As for Kingsbane, where to begin!

The plot thickens. Legrand throws her characters into everything imaginable; anything bad that can happen does.

It’s hard to say anything else about this book without giving major spoilers, but I both hated and loved reading it, and the ending almost had me throwing it against the wall.

Despite feeling terrible for all of the characters, this book was just so intense and dark, and I loved it. That being said, I’m not a fan of how Legrand writes her sex scenes, and I think there were several in here that were unnecessary. 

But Kingsbane stuck with me, and I’m still waiting to read the third and final book in the trilogy to see what happens!

VERDICT: ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5

Alexis’ Top 10 Books of 2021

Alexis:

I say this every year, but I can’t believe this year is already over!

Thanks to graduating from grad school and staying inside because of the pandemic, I read a total of 82 books this year, an all-time record for me.

In no particular order, here are my top 10 reads of 2021.

Forestborn ⁣by Elayne Audrey Becker
Kingdom of the Cursed ⁣by Kerri Maniscalco
The Wolf and The Woodsman ⁣by Ava Reid
Defy the Night ⁣by Brigid Kemmerer
The Bone Shard Daughter ⁣by Andrea Stewart
The Bone Shard Emperor by Andrea Stewart⁣
Under the Whispering Door ⁣by TJ Klune
For the Wolf ⁣by Hannah F. Whitten
Legendborn ⁣by Tracy Deonn
The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman

I have some really great books lined up for 2022. There are so many new books coming out that look amazing, but I have some older series on my tbr list, too.

Happy New Year, everyone!

My Summer Re-Read of Harry Potter

Alexis:

Before Coronavirus and JK Rowling’s (yet another) transphobic comment, I planned on re-reading the Harry Potter series this summer. My goal was to browse used bookstores to finish my own collection of the series. But now, I’m going to be reading my family’s copies, as well as my own copies of the 5th and 7th books. 

I finished re-reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and it was so much fun! I haven’t read the entire series in such a long time; it’s definitely been over 10 years.

The first book is chock-full of subtext and foreshadowing. Harry learns at the end of the first book, from Quirrell, no less, that the reason Snapes hates him is because he and James went to school together, and James saved his life. There’s even a paragraph at the end where Harry muses that it seems like Dumbledore wanted him to face Voldemort. I enjoyed re-experiencing all of the plot points and the side characters that the movie missed. But that being said, it was also nice to be reminded that the first movie took so many direct quotes from the book.

Even characters that come into play later, like Sirius and Lavender Brown, are mentioned in this book.

I loved immersing myself in the Wizarding World again, and I’m looking forward to re-reading the rest of the series!

ϟ 9¾

Choosing a Book to Read Tomorrow

Alexis: Hi, everyone!

I’m trying to choose between these three books to read tomorrow. I’m just not sure what I’m in the mood for.

If anyone’s wondering, I’m thankful that Anna left most of the books she accumulated while living in NYC at home, so I have a lot of books to choose from!

I hope you all have had a great and productive Monday. Goodnight!

Alexis’ July Tbr List

Alexis: Here’s my tbr list for July! 

  1. Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd
  2. The Editor by Steven Rowley
  3. Clock Dance by Anne Taylor
  4. The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister 

I found Grim Lovelies and Clock Dance for 1/2 price from a book exchange in VA Beach. 

Alexis’ June Library Haul

Alexis: About a month ago, I requested three books from the library, and of course they all came around the same time!

  1. Nocturna by Maya Motayne
  2. The Editor by Steven Rowley
  3. The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister

I already started Nocturna, and I can’t wait to read the other two!

On a different note, what’s your favorite Starbucks drink? I usually go for a matcha latte with almond milk, but the espresso machine was down, so I settled for a green tea frappuccino.

Check out the books below!

 
Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.org

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.org

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.org

Used Bookstore Haul

Alexis:

A bookstore where everything is $3 or under? Yes, please! I picked up four books, the max I should probably put in my suitcase, from Lucky Dog Books in Dallas, Texas. My boyfriend, who reads nonfiction/business books, found 5 books!

  1. On Gold Mountain by Lisa See
  2. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
  3. Water Wings by Kristen den Hartog
  4. Rose’s Garden by Carrie Brown

Alexis’ April tbr Stack

🌺Alexis’ April #tbr stack🌺

Did March fly by for anyone else? I kind of wanted winter to be longer; I’m not ready for all this pollen.

FYI: All of these books are secondhand!

  1. Airborn by Kenneth Oppel
  2. Better Than Fiction, Edited by Don George
  3. Idlewild by Nick Sagan
  4. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Alexis’ Library Haul

Alexis:

Library haul time! These are some of my most anticipated reads on my #tbr list.

  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
  • Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
  • The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
  • In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende

Anna and I went to a coffee shop and got some work and writing done today. And then we went to Ulta, my second favorite store after Barnes and Noble.

I’m starting with In the Midst of Winter since it’s currently 28 degrees outside and dropping! I’ve always loved Isabel Allende’s writing style and I’m enjoying the beginning of the book.